So yeah, this will probably be one of my favorite pictures from this summer. Just a boy and a butterfly.
We are getting so near to the end of our butterfly project. It seems odd without tanks of hungry munching caterpillars everywhere. Things are quiet. Not that you could hear them, but.. it just feels quieter. The summer is winding down and that is just one of the signs.
I have stopped bringing in eggs and caterpillars, so this group that I have right now will be the last. After a certain point, I don’t want to raise them if when they eclose there is a chance that it would be too cold to release them. Currently, I have fourteen monarchs in chrysalis. These guys should be the super monarchs, the ones that make the journey south where they will stay for the winter.
For some reason, a bunch of them decided to go into chrysalis in the same area. I wonder if there was a reason behind that?
I also have seven black swallowtails in chrysalis, with four still eating and growing. Black swallowtail chrysalides can overwinter while monarchs can’t, so I am not as concerned with these guys.
As for releases, it was a crazy few weeks! I was watching my sister-in-laws chrysalides and caterpillars while they were on vacation, and while they were gone I released 15 of her butterflies. It was crazy, between hers and mine! Some of them stuck around for photos while others took immediately to the skies.
I did find a little sad one in the yard one morning. I don’t know what happened to it, but it could have been attacked by a bird or a cat or who knows what else. I was walking through the yard, and happened to glance down to see a butterfly with a torn wing crawling across my path. I have a very tender heart for all creatures, and I could not leave it out there to suffer. I didn’t know what I was going to do with it, but I knew it wasn’t staying out there like that. So, I brought it in and did some googling and decided to keep it for as long it is lived. Here is little Flippy Bohannon. The name is probably a little insensitive since it couldn’t fly, only crawl or flip around, but he lived with us a few days, eating peaches and looking at the sun until he wasn’t anymore. He is buried in our butterfly garden now.
Incidentally, one of the butterflies of my Chrissy’s (my SIL) eclosed and was born without a wing! Just one little wing. She is keeping hers around too, just letting it live its best short life safely in her house.
So things are pretty slow around here for now, but the next update, maybe in two weeks, I will have released all the super monarchs.
The tally: Black Swallowtails – Males: 8, Females: 6 Monarchs – Males: 17 Females: 10
I will make a list of them and their names in my last post, after I release this last group of monarchs. I can’t believe summer is almost over!